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Jan 14, 2009 11:00 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

East Quogue developers must reduce size of new subdivision

Jan 14, 2009 11:00 AM

The owners of 145 acres of vacant land in East Quogue, originally slated to be the home of a 49-lot subdivision, will have to submit a new plan to the Southampton Town Planning Board that reduces the number of proposed lots by almost half following the passage of a new town law.

Wayne Steck, one of the developers of the proposed subdivision, called The Links at East Quogue, said on Friday that he was not pleased with the news that was released by the Planning Board last Thursday, January 8, noting that he and his partners are still considering all of their legal options.

“We wanted to put in our application four years ago, before the moratorium,” Mr. Steck said. “We don’t know what we’re going to do. The economy is bad now, and 30 houses there might not be feasible.”

In December, the Town Board altered the zoning of some 915 undeveloped acres in East Quogue from 2-acre zoning to 5-acre zoning, meaning that the developers of The Links at East Quogue would have to reduce their number of proposed homes from 49 units to approximately 29 units, according to Town Planner Matthew Briones.

The town agreed to upzone a large swatch of undeveloped land in the fall, following a recommendation in a study completed during a 15-month building moratorium that targeted he entire hamlet. The study ultimately determined that fewer buildable lots would help preserve the hamlet’s bucolic nature and be far less taxing on the hamlet’s school and fire protection districts.

Originally adopted in April 2006, the building ban prohibited town planning officials from reviewing most new projects proposed for East Quogue.

As a result of the recent change in zoning, Mr. Steck and his partners must reduce the scope of their development before they are allowed to proceed, according to town planners.

The proposed subdivision would be located on Lewis Road, north of Old Country Road. Though the public hearing on the application scheduled for last Thursday evening was cancelled, one East Quogue resident in attendance said she approved of the town’s decision to reduce the number of new homes that could be constructed on the property.

“I’m happy to hear that there will be fewer lots,” said Theresa DeScalo, a resident of Old Country Road who said she was concerned with the overall layout of the plan. “[The subdivision] is situated in sort of an awkward area, and I didn’t see how they would access it.”

Sagaponack Subdivision

In other news, Southampton Town Planning Board members are expected to approve a 10-lot subdivision on Thursday, January 15, that will redevelop about half of a working horse farm.

The subdivision will reduce the size of the horse farm, which is located on the corner of Mecox Road and Halsey Lane, by about half, from 37.2 acres to 19 acres. The other 18.2 acres would be for the subdivision. Board members examined the draft approval last Thursday before forwarding it to the applicant, Patricia Clarke Topping, for review.

Ms. Topping still intends to operate the farm and is subdividing a portion of the property so she can give it to other members of her family, according to Richard Van de Kieft and Kieran Pape Murphree, who represented Ms. Topping at last week’s Planning Board meeting. Mr. Van de Kieft is a civil engineer and land surveyor with the firm of John J. Raynor, P.E. and L.S., based in Water Mill, and Ms. Murphree is an attorney with offices in Sag Harbor.

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The less development the better.
By PrivateerMatt (390), Weesuck Creek , EQ on Jan 14, 09 11:19 AM